4 comments on “We ain’t in Kansas now Toto

  1. Very interesting piece C.C.!
    I am mindful of the fact that whenever I attempt to make meaningful comparisons with our colleagues across the pond, there may often be common issues and challenges, but methods and scales rarely match up to my total satisfaction.
    Invariably, when we ‘adopt’ something that has been successful in the US, I always end up feeling that we are incrementally moving towards an americanisation of procedure, rather than applying any useful lessons in an established english context.
    It’s perhaps interesting to consider that when us Brits have a particular degree of success or expertise in a given field, it will not necessarily be enthusiastically embraced stateside, unless of course it can be properly americanised (…. ized?) first.
    Unfamiliar as I am with the second Peelian Principle you mentioned, in our modern world we could perhaps be forgiven for substituting the word effectiveness in place of efficiency ( the latter forever reminding me of the nauseating ‘doing more with less’ mantra ), whereas much of modern policing is by definition valuable unseen work, most of which the general public ( and indeed some politicians ) appear to be blissfully unaware.

  2. I remember a job we had….. Retired Bobby alert! It came over the air as, “sounds of gunshots in abandoned quarry”. It was then press panic button A as, for the next 5 mins it was alert duty this that and the other, find a dog man, alert Arv , helicopter , etc . At last I managed to get on the air and report, “Are you aware there is a shooting club based in that quarry?” Local knowledge you can’t beat it (pun intended) You don’t learn it sat in your van/panda in the police station car park waiting for the next job to come in. You learn it by walking or yes, Even driving around talking to people asking questions and listening.

  3. This policy is now official in Gloucestershire and was established by the PCC at a public meeting that he held earlier this year in Stroud when setting out the annual budget. He used these words to introduce it: “Police patrols are similar to sending the Fire Brigade out to look for fires”. Remarkably the local papers never reported on it. Three weeks later the PCC was pictured with local officers prior to them going on local evening patrols in Stroud. Unsurprisingly the papers never reported on that either. Mind you the PCC has a broad brush of matters to deal with. Last year, with I think every other UK PCC, he went on an ERU funded jolly to Bosnia to be briefed on the Srebrenica massacre on the 19th anniversary of the event. As a result he was required, as were all other attendees, to promote knowledge of the massacre in every way possible. I’ve not noticed any mention if it by him during the recent 20th anniversary remembrances. He has much to occupy his time.

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